The Alsace Wine Route "Route des Vins"
Every one of this Wine Route's 170 kilometers leads you to discover a region where living has become a form of art.
The Alsace Wine Route looks like a living picture postcard: serried ranks of well-kept vineyards rising over the foothills and Vosges Mountains. The retired ramparts now serve only to protect the flower decked streets, welcoming inns, and inviting wine cellars. Historic churches and fountains generously bequethed by the renaissance stand tall in every town. For every one of these unforgettable sights, the Alsace Wine Route merits your visit. The gateway at Marlenheim, stretches south and weaves generously through the countryside to Thann. Travel up the "Route" to meet the winegrowers, taste their wines, wander through a maze of vineyard trails in Medieval villages. Sit and admire the views high atop the vineyard terraces, which in a moment's pause, are yours alone. Finally, at every stop, allow yourself to take in the local way of life and by its culinary creativity. With the complexity of its wines, the Alsace has made itself known for being one of the most gourmet regions of France. Over one hundred villages line the Alsace Wine Route, and in each you can easily find a welcoming wine cellar.


Varieties of Wine
Sylvanner
- remarkably fresh, light, and discretely grapy. Agreeably thirst-quenching, sometimes lively wine. It pairs well with seafood, cold meats, quiche, fondue and salads.
Riesling -
dry, distinguished, delicately fruity, with a very elegant bouquet. A gastronomic wine
"par exellence", it is unrivalled to accompanying fish, shellfish, seafood, white meats, and of course Alsace sauerkraut/choucroute.
Gewürztraminer -
is known worldwide
for its exceptional aromatic characteristics with fruity, floral or spiced notes. Its structure is powerful and round. Gewürztraminer is ideal as aperitif, but also with exotic cooking (Asian, Mexican, and Indian), cheeses and desserts.
Pinot Blanc -
combines freshness and flexibility. It is well rounded, and is the happy medium in the range of Alsace wines. A perfect choice for many dishes.
Pinot Noir -
is the only Alsatian variety of grapes producing either red or rosé wines, characteristically fruity with hints of cherry. It is harmonious with poultry, white meat, game and cheese.
Tokay Pinot Gris -
develops a characteristically opulent flavour. Round, rich, full bodied with complex flavours, and a long finish. It is excellent with foie gras, game, white meats, and roasts.
Muscat d'Alsace -
dry and different from the other sweet Muscats of southern France. Its inimitable fruity, dry, and aromatic at the same time. Makes a marvelous aperitif. It is also recommended with asparagus.


Cremant d'Alsace
-
delicate and lively, sparkling wine made according to the traditional method, as in Champagne. Made mainly of Pinot Blanc, but also Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
The rarer Crémant Rosé is made from Pinot Noir.

 

Wine Fairs
All along the Alsace Wine Route, each village takes its turn to organize their annual wine fair, ("Fete du Vin"), featuring processions and other events in local costume, punctuated by tastings of local wine. Each fair lasts all day and often well into the night, in a lively and fun atmosphere.
Andlau's wine fair is usually the first weekend in August.
More Information on Wine Fair dates given upon request.


Photo: Raphael Wach (right) of Jean Wach et Fils corking bottles of cremant d'Alsace (Alsatian champagne method)

Wine Courses & Tours
If you wish to improve your knowledge of wine there are many courses and tours you can take to refresh your knowledge of the vineyards, grape varieties, Grand Cru Wines, and wine and food pairings.
http://www.vinsalsace.com
http://www.alsace-route-des-vins.com

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